Many young people are now accessing new generation cigarettes (TCM), while in Vietnam these products are all from smuggled sources, without quality control.
E-cigarettes become popular
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2020 shows that 3.6 million teenagers in the United States are using e-cigarettes (E-cigarettes), 83% of which use products that contain alcohol. flavors and over 1 million users of menthol e-cigarettes.
In Europe, according to the latest data of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, in some countries, the percentage of adolescents smoking e-cigarettes is increasing; In Italy, the rate of e-mail usage increased from 8.4% in 2014 to 17.5% in 2018.
Meanwhile, the data to date show that heated tobacco (TLLN), another form of TLM product, is less attractive to young people. A 2018 study in Japan, showed that only 0.1% of students used TLLN products in both middle and high school levels. These are all groups of people who have converted from previous regular cigarette smoking to using tobacco products.
According to a survey published in 2020, young and high-income people tend to prefer tobacco products, but the number of people using this product is still lower than that of e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes. This contrast is generally due to different control and management policies for each market.
In Vietnam, the products of TLM are not yet allowed to be bought, sold and used by the law. However, these products are still being traded illegally. Realistically recorded data, e-cigarettes are currently the most sought-after source of goods for young people today because of the variety of designs and flavors of essential oils. According to a study published by the Institute for Health Policy and Strategy, in Vietnam, 5.2% of young people who have never smoked conventional cigarettes use e-cigarettes. According to the school health survey in 2019, up to 2.6% of students aged 13-17 smoked e-cigarettes.
Experts warn of many dangers from poor quality products and the mixing of ingredients into illegal e-cigarette solutions, of unknown origin, not being controlled and managed.
Control by management policy
Since 2019, many states in the US have passed laws raising the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 years old. In July 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first heated tobacco product to be marketed in the US as a “Risk Modified Tobacco Product” (MRTP) with with the designation “Minimize Exposure”. However, the FDA stressed that making this decision does not mean that it endorses TLLN products as safe for human consumption. The FDA also emphasizes that the product is only for current smokers who want to switch to products with less harmful substances than cigarettes. FDA requires manufacturers to take responsibility for raising awareness among adolescents about alcohol abuse and to ensure that product marketing is not targeted at them. The company must also report to the FDA about its efforts to prevent youth access and exposure to this product.
China also recently put e-cigarettes into regulation. The New Zealand government has just announced that it will ban people under the age of 14 from buying cigarettes and this age will increase every year. However, New Zealand will not apply this regulation to vapes.
According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), all cigarettes, including e-cigarettes and tobacco products, are products containing nicotine, which is addictive and many chemicals harmful to health, including carcinogenic substances. Scientific studies to date have shown that reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in TLM does not render the product completely harmless, nor is it likely to reduce risks to human health. people. Therefore, more time is needed to conduct comprehensive research on these products.
To date, health warnings have emphasized that any tobacco product is particularly risky for children and adolescents. Therefore, WHO requires that tobacco products still comply with the policy measures and regulations applied in accordance with WHO guidelines, in accordance with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Currently, in Vietnam, tobacco products are not mentioned in the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms (issued in 2012). Since 2017, the Government has requested ministries and sectors to develop management policies for FMCG products. At the end of 2020, the Government Office sent an official dispatch to convey the opinion of the Prime Minister requesting the Ministry of Industry and Trade to urgently propose a management policy for these products.
According to lawyer Ta Minh Trinh (Member of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association), in Vietnam, buying and selling tobacco is very easy, minors can also buy it. Therefore, the management of tobacco trade needs to be stricter, especially for tobacco use.
“At the time of 2012, the legislators had not yet envisioned modern forms of tobacco. Accordingly, the Law at this time clearly defines tobacco as a product produced from all or part of the raw materials. tobacco, processed in the form of cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, pipe tobacco or other forms.Tobacco raw materials are tobacco leaves in the form of pre-processed fibers or sheets. new generation tobacco products, we have to see if it is subject to the regulation of the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms.TLLN even though it is an electronic device, the raw material that is heated to create nicotine is from Compared with the above definition, this product is suitable for the form of “other tobacco” within the scope of the current Law”, said lawyer Trinh.